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Madagascar (PG)

Release Date: May 27th, by Dreamworks Pictures.
The Voices: Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith
BASIC PREMISE: Four animals experience an adventure when accidentally released into the wilderness of Madagascar from the Central Park Zoo.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The CGI animation is consistently amazing and realistic throughout this bright and colorful movie. The pacing is fast and there is a lot of tuneful contemporary music. There are all kinds of humor for both children and adults---including a hilarious reference to American Beauty. Most of the humor is slapstick and silly--but the smartest humor involves the penguins. These penguins are full of surprises. If only there were more scenes with them! Once the animals arrive in Madagascar, they meet the hilarious lemurs. What happens there is beyond anyone's wild imagination. Well, okay, there is an inevitable reference to Cast Away. What makes the movie so cute and adorable for little kids is that the lemurs are not menacing to the zoo animals and vice versa. Also, New Yorkers will easily love this film because, after all, it is a tale about animals from New York City and then there's the reference to the New York Giants--as well as a scene when one of the animals insults New Jersey, which is very typical. Chris Rock is no Eddie Murphy, that's for sure, but he still provides a few good jokes as does everyone. But by the time the end credits roll, the penguins have stolen the show.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: It is very uplifting and interesting to watch the lemurs treat the Central Park Zoo animals with such hospitality and warmth. Other than that, there is not much to think about.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Not enough penguin scenes! Hopefully, they will return in the sequel, if there is one.


THE BOTTOM LINE: An adorable, colorful, and imaginative movie with some good jokes for the kids and references to other movies for the adults as well as wonderful animation, but most of the humor belongs to the penguins and the lemurs.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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